The Catch: Fishing for Ted Hughes

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Apr 28, 2022 - Nature - 336 pages
It is in the midst of a swirling river, casting a line, that Mark Wormald meets Ted Hughes.

He stands where the poet stood, forty years ago, because fishing was Ted Hughes's way of breathing – and because the poet's writing has made Mark understand that it has always been his way of breathing, too.

Using Hughes's poetry collection River and his fishing diaries as a guide, Mark returns again and again to the rivers and lakes in Britain and Ireland where the poet fished. At times, he uses Ted's fly patterns; at others his rods. It is an obsession; a fundamental connection to nature; a thrilling wildness; an elemental pursuit. But it is also a release and a consolation, as Mark fishes after the sudden death of his mother and during the slow fading of his father.

A brilliant blend of memoir and biography, The Catch is a stunning meditation on poetry and nature, and a quiet reflection on what it means to be a father and a son.

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About the author (2022)

Mark Wormald has been fishing since the age of four. He is an award-winning poet, winning the Newdigate Prize at Oxford in 1988 and an E. C. Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 1995.

Mark has been a Fellow in English at Pembroke College, Cambridge, since 1992. He edited Charles Dickens's The Pickwick Papers for Penguin Classics and more recently co-edited two collections of essays: Ted Hughes: from Cambridge to Collected (2013) and Ted Hughes, Nature and Culture (2018).

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